Scott Cooper ’92 returned to campus for a screening of his Academy Award-winning film Crazy Heart on September 17 as a part of the Family Weekend festivities. While students and their parents were treated to the screening and comments by Mr. Cooper on Friday night, students of Professors Matt Dubroff and David Higginbotham met with him to talk about working in the film industry and developing characters in a screenplay.
Speaking to the crowd before the screening, Cooper said he is regularly asked where he attended film school and questioners are uniformly surprised when he tells them that he attended only Hampden-Sydney College, a liberal arts college for men. He said he learned about character development from his English and rhetoric professors and gave particular credit to economics professor Ken Townsend for teaching him the skills necessary to create a budget and stick to it. The art of film, he added, he learned from watching his favorite movies over and over again in the basement of Eggleston Library.
Crazy Heart is Cooper’s writing and directorial debut, though he has been working as an actor for some time. He appeared in the films Gods and Generals, Broken Trail, and the recently released Get Low.
Cooper’s next project is directing a remake of the Argentine film Carancho. The story involves an ambulance-chasing lawyer running a lucrative insurance scam who falls afoul of a larger conspiracy and gets emotionally entangled with a troubled emergency room doctor.